Have you done a MOOC yet (Massive Online Open Course)? I have completed Otto Scharmer’s u.Lab course twice now, because it was so good. It is on again in September.
It is highly relevant to our aspirations for local food for at least two key concepts in the course. Otto Scharmer uses hi Theory U to illustrate how our societies and economies around the world have evolved through four stages. The first is state centric, based on hierarchy and centralised control. The next two, free market and social markets, introduced markets and competition and then moderating influences such as NGOs and unions. These three sectors continue to operate in conflict and have exhausted the extent of their value. Proponents of each suggest that more of their chosen ideology will provide the necessary remedy.
Otto Scharmer points to the emergence of a new societal model – the co-creative society. It is the earlier three sectors, but rather than competing, they are working together – seeing and acting from the whole. In the local food context, we would not have monopolies dominating. The links between food production, consumption, health and a thriving local economy, that are so evident to us, will drive decision making when we get to look at things more holistically.
The second very relevant concept is about our listening. Otto Scharmer guides us through the need to suspend the voices of judgement, cynicism and fear to help us get to a space when we can co-create and together “step into the future that wants to emerge”.
Last year a group of Northlanders get together for weekly “coaching circles” as part of this course. If a group of us were to do the course we could create a coaching circle specifically focussing on local food. Please comment if you are interested.